137 CommentsFavourite and Forgotten / By Scamp /

Looking for recommendations for 2003 anime


My little manga break is over. I’d say it was a fairly big success because I came out thinking that maybe manga is not so bad after all, unlike my stint with visual novels. I’ll still be checking out some of the other manga recommended to me and possibly review them. I’m slowly making my through 7 Seeds and enjoying it quite a bit, and I believe Shinmaru is continuing his Jojo’s manga trawl. However it will be at a much slower pace and won’t be the main focus anymore. Besides, I need to get back to these yearly posts because I want to round off last decade before the 2010’s finish.

So as I did with 2002 and 2001, I’m looking for recommendations for what anime to watch from 2003. Wikipedia’s list is probably the easiest to browse. Same rules apply as last time. Don’t recommend anything too long (so no…errr, Zatch Bell, since that seems to be the only 60+ episode anime from that year). Don’t recommend any sequels (besides, I’ve already rewatched Fumoffu). Don’t go for the stupidly obvious (so no Full Metal Alchemist). Try to recommend stuff that you think I will actually like and haven’t already seen, but don’t worry about those points too much. When in doubt, just recommend anyway because it’s always interesting seeing what people still hold up as being good from that year.

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  1. Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Cara would most definitely recommend Bottle Fairy.


    • Scamp
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      I saw an episode of Gunslinger Girl years ago but never continued watching it. Not sure why

    • Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      I would 2nd the Gunslinger Girl rec. Fine work by Madhouse, I found it a lot of fun, if slow. Also one of the earlier 16:9 shows I can remember…

    • Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Cara would never be that mean. I’ve tried it – no one else need suffer that hell.

      However yes to Gunslinger Girl it is excellent.

  2. Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Loved Requiem from the Darkness, but yeah, Cromartie was the bomb from 2003.


    • Scamp
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      That’s the second time I’ve seen someone say they loved Requiem from the Darkness in the space of a week. I’d never even heard of it before. Might have to give that one a shot

      • CM
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Seconding Requiem for the Darkness. Japanese name is Twelve Stories

      • CM
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Sorry I mean Hundred Stories

  3. Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Regarding my favorite anime of 2003, I think the ones you haven’t seen are Air Master, Wolf’s Rain, and Shadow Star.

    Of the three, I think you’d enjoy Wolf’s Rain the most, although Bones series are hard to predict with the audience. I love Air Master a lot and it’s a damn great fighting anime (I like it better than Jojo), but you might be turned off by the art, the humor, the panty shots, and some of the characters’ personalities (I personally didn’t fall in love with it until Kinjiro came). Shadow Star is a decent dark take on the monster fighting that Pokemon popularized, but the show ended halfway through the manga and it shows. Still decent though.

    Not sure why you didn’t like Gunslinger Girl, but I think it deserves a second chance unless there was some core problem you had with it. Also, I think the first half of Kaleido Star can stand on its own, so if you think it fits within your 2-cour limit, try that.

    There’s also a CG cartoon by the Popee guy named Mr. Stain on Junk Alley, but I can’t find it online. If you can, then you might as well try that.

    Edit: Looking at my list, I realized I forgot to put Tokyo Godfathers on it. Fixing that now.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Wolf’s Rain has been a glaring omission from my anime list for years now, particularly since it sounds exactly like my sort of thing. It’s #1 on my list of things I need to check out

    • Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Oh wait, I also looked closer at the 2003 wiki page and realized that Twin Spica is on the list. It’s basically Space Bros except the main characters are kids (and female) and the length is much shorter. Only saw the first episode though, but I liked it a lot. I even saw Emily and Day praising it as well.

      And again, I realized I forgot to put Yami to Boushi to Hon to Tababito (Darkness, the Hat, and the Book of Travelers) on my favorite anime of 2003 list as well. That’s a yuri hentai VN adaptation that forgoes the original game in order to be as batshit crazy and creative as possible and it’s my favorite VN adapted series. Directing is shit b/c it’s the F/SN director and there are a couple of yuri elements in it, but damn did I have fun watching it. Not sure if you’ll like it though.

      Other than that, there’s nothing I can see that I can really recommend except for stuff you’ve already seen like Planetes or Big O II. Really could not stand Chrno Crusade and there’s no way I’m recommending Mouse, and judging by your taste, I don’t think you’d like them either.

      So yeah, I recommend trying all my faves, but based on what you like, I’d say these are the best bet: Wolf’s Rain, Mr. Stain, and Twin Spica.

  4. Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Kaleido Star! Lead by Junichi Sato, you know it’ll have great episodic writing, strong female leads, and feel-good themes about enduring spirit, determination, and optimism. So you’ll probably hate it.

    If you haven’t seen Gunslinger Girl, Wolf’s Rain, or Planetes, you should probably see them too.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Eurgh, feel-good themes? Optimism? Junichi Sato? Blech, why would anyone want that?

  5. Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Give Godannar a try. I’ve seen about 7 episodes. It’s mental.


    EDIT: nevermind, saw that you dropped it.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      I did think what I watched was all right. I appreciated what it was going for. I just found the actual story practically non-existent so it got repetitive and kinda dull pretty quickly

  6. kristen
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Last Exile and Wolf’s Rain are must-watches for that year.

  7. matrixEXO
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Battle Programmer Shirase (just because loli wins).

    Peacemaker Kurogane (but I’m not a bishi fan).

    Tsukihime (since you watched all the Fate shows already).

    Gungrave (but you might have dropped it, I know you stopped watching with a “I might take it back up” status but no additional status on it after that).

    Immortal Grand Prix (but I’m a sucker for mecha so yeah).

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Welp, guess I’m not watching Battle Programmer Shirase then

  8. Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    The ones that jumped out to me that I’ve seen were:
    – Kino’s Journey
    – Last Exile
    – Planetes
    – Wolf’s Rain
    – Tokyo Godfathers
    Though they probably fall under the ‘already seen’ or ‘too obvious’ category.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Yup, all too obvious and already seen :P

      Except Wolf’s Rain, but that’s a show I really should have seen years ago

  9. Kiseki
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I highly, highly recommend Ashita no Nadja. (I think I tried recommending it before but it was too girly for you or something? Looking back on it I think they were trying to make it as campy of a shoujo as possible.) It contains some of the best character development I’ve ever seen, and it certainly helps that it follows the character of the week format. Actually one of the few (only?) anime where I didn’t mind the characters of the week since they all had enjoyable stories. I adore everything about Nadja, it’s incredibly charming, well-written, and has a surprising amount of depth. I adore Nadja too I adore the Bandai trinkets I just love this series. (Also Hosoda directed/animated my favorite episode whatever I loved that episode mannn.)

    I think what stood out to me when I watched it years ago was that for its time slot the supporting characters weren’t all morally “good” nor do they all live happily ever after. Nadja was Toudou Izumi’s project between the Ojamajo Doremi and Precure cash cows. The script quality is excellent throughout the whole story compared to Precure which only has its gems every once in a while.

    The only setbacks imo had to be its silly villains and excessive use of stock animation. I don’t have a problem with kids shows selling toys like you do (I buy them), but some of Nadja’s dance sequences do get annoying after a short while…

    tl;dr I’m a huge fangirl and I’m repeating myself too much but Nadja is fantastic, don’t just take my word for it.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Fiiiiiiine, I suppose I can at least check out the first episode

    • Ugoki
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:50 am | Permalink

      “silly villains”

      Except that one villain near the end, of course.

  10. sqa
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    2003 was a good year, and most have been hit already, but I’ll toss out two that might not get mentioned much.

    1) Uchuu no Stellvia (Stellvia of the Universe)
    – This was actually the most popular show, by download count, around the Fandom that year. Even above Naruto. It was doing download numbers most popular shows now have trouble with. Though it’s a bit of “lost gem” these days, as Eureka 7 would take over that space in the fandom.

    Oh, and it’s one of the best soundtracks of all time.

    2) Gunparade March
    – I seemed to like this series a lot more than other people, though I haven’t rewatched it in a while. It’s a school setting with Mechas, Death and Alien invaders. If Muv Luv Total Eclipse had been done the same way, that series would have been a whole lot better.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      Muv Luv had a pretty great first two episodes, then rapidly deteriorated for some reason.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Yeah it did seem like Stellvia was big back in the day. It had died down by the time I got into fandom and nobody seems to talk about it anymore except in a mildly negative light. I have actually seen it and I’d say the reason people don’t talk about it anymore is because it’s not particularly good

  11. Erif
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Goddayum, there’s a a lot of great anime from this year.

    I’m going to reccomend something that’s 75 episodes, just because it’s something that’s right up your ally: Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. This is textbook zany anime. It’s so crazy yet so hilariously fulfilling, I’d at least give it a try. You’ll get the jist of it from the first episode.

    Also IGPX (Immortal Grand Prix), which is an interesting instance of an anime that was produced by both American and Japanese companies. Definitely worth checking out.

    And there’s a bunch of other stuff on that list that caught my eye. Not sure if you’ve seen all or any of these, but I think these are some shows that you should at least look into to: Wolf’s Rain, Gunslinger Girl, The Big O, The Galaxy Express, Gungrave, Kaleido Star, Tsukihime, Texhnolyze, and Planetes.

    I know you’ve seen Kino’s and Cromartie, so I didn’t bother with those.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Oh yeah, Bobowhatever, that’s the one with the nosehair warriors. Never actually seen it, but now that you mention it, I probably should give it a go.

  12. The Wall
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Never realized how many anime I like are from 2003.

    The Big O, Last Exile, Kino’s Journey, and Tokyo Godfathers are probably obvious and/or already seen.

    Gunslinger Girl is a great anime.

    Tsukihime isn’t amazing, but I think it’s worth a watch.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I’m unsure whether I should count The Big O because it’s such a direct sequel and many sites don’t even count it as a separate season. I don’t think the show itself even identifies as a sequel

  13. QuintusFabiusMaximus
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Green Green had just about the strangest bit of beastiality i’ve ever seen. I’d recommend just watching it for those scenes but the rest of the show is fairly meh. Everything else that i know for sure i would recommend to someone else you’ve already seen so it’s no use to mention Cromartie or Big O. Maybe .hack//? but that’s a common one for most people to have seen.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Euurrrghh god no Green Green, that is one of the worst anime I have ever seen. And when you consider how many terrible anime I have seen in my life, that’s saying a LOT

      • matrixEXO
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        A LOT is an understatement, Scamp.

  14. CaptainHairy
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s a strong-ass year. R.O.D. the TV and Gungrave stand out for me. Scrapped Princess and Chrono Crusade also I remember as fun romps, if fairly standard.

    Also, Maburaho if you want to see something that’ll have you desperately glancing around for something to open your own jugular with in approximately 5 minutes.

    As for obvious stuff: Last Exile and Planetes.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Most people tell me ROD TV is crap, so idk. Gungrave is something I need to get back to. The first episode was terrible, but everyone says the first episode is terrible and that you should just jump to episode 2.

      Mahurabo was one of those shows I nearly watched back when I was getting into anime and only watched crappy harems but never did. Probably for the best

      • CaptainHairy
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Wait, people say ROD is terrible? What the hell? Who says this? I don’t… I… [*that gif from Tim and Eric everyone uses when their mind is blown*]

        The only weak part about that show is probably the ending, and the pacing gets a touch slow in the middle. They do a pretty good job of making paper seem badass, which is no mean feat.

      • Nazaren
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        ROD the TV was alright… no real weak parts, but there was absolutely no strengths either. The novelty of the paper magic wore thin pretty quickly, the character conflicts felt forced or out of place, and I thought it was far inferior to the OVA, which I loved.

      • JD
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Most of my college anime club thought that ROD TV was crap too, so I have no problem believing it’s a widespread opinion. They’re wrong, though ; while it does have many issues (some of the initial “mission” episodes are quite bad, and the climax peters out lamely after tons of buildup), it’s built around so crazy a central idea that I can’t help loving it.

        The other problem is that it’s one of those “it gets better, I swear” series and I’m not sure Scamp has the patience to get to the *really* good episodes in the middle.

      • Lenaen
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:48 am | Permalink

        I think the problem was that the OVA set the bar SO high between the production values and the incredibly tight pacing. I’d agree with JD’s “it gets better” comment, but yeah, after the first few episodes the action really settles down before ramping back up in the back half.

    • ChuChu
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:42 am | Permalink

      The first episode of Gungrave is like the first episode of Shin Mazinger Z. Its there to give people a taste of what the show will become. Except in Gungrave’s case, its a lie, because the best part of the show is nothing like it.

  15. Catshachou
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Gunslinger Girl
    Kaleido Star
    Kino’s Journey

    Shadow Star (Narutaru) – It’s basically a failure because it doesn’t have a proper ending but it was very effectively dark/depressing even if it doesn’t really makes sense

    Twin Spica might be worth watching (haven’t actually seen this but the manga’s good)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I’ve heard Narutaru, for all its shocking elements, isn’t actually very well put together. I remember people talking about it when Madoka came out and saying that, while the two are similar, Narutaru is nowhere near as well put together as Madoka is

  16. Ana
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed Detective School Q, given it was made by the same team who did the long-running mystery classic, Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo. Worth checking out if you like mysteries in general.

    And I still don’t think you should give up on visual novels in general! You really should try out Umineko Naku no Koro Ni one day.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      What really turned me off visual novels were people excusing the painfully slow pacing as something you need ‘patience’ for, which was the stupidest excuse for bad writing. When it became clear that bad writing was something everyone who read visual novels seemed to put up with, I was done with the entire thing

      • Ana
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        I think Umineko is actually very well-written, as is Dangan Ronpa and Steins;Gate, but then the latter two already have perfectly serviceable animes, I guess.

        Or at least I hope Dangan Ronpa will have one. *crosses fingers*

        And I don’t think slow pacing is necessarily a sign of bad writing, but when the slow pacing is done by throwing in unnecessary detail and using bloated, overly verbose prose (*coughcough* Ever17, 999 *cough*), instead of, you know, deliberately pacing the scenes to a slow tempo that you want to use to achieve a certain effect (slow build of horror, creating an atmosphere of tranquility etc), it’s really bad, yeah. And I know the kind of slow pacing + bad writing that a lot of visual novels have, so I do agree with you in that front.

  17. Desi
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Ashita no Nadja because all things considered, its really well written in my opinion.
    Besides that ones that I know you haven’t seen…
    D.N. Angel is okay.
    You’ve already watched Scrapped Princess though it seems. Darnit.

    • Desi
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Also, why has everyone forgotten that you watched the Big O and enjoyed it Scamp?

      • Scamp
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Probably because I never wrote a post on it. It’s in my goddamn Top 30 anime though, I fucking love Big O.

  18. luffyluffy
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I’d say try out The Big O (everyone should see Big O i mean really), Godannar, and Wolf’s Rain. Watch World of Narue if you wanna murder yourself.

    As for ovas, try Android Kikaider (for the simple fact that it’s an Ishinomori production), Mazinkaiser, and the anime to One if you wanna see characters from one of Key’s first visual products. The PORN version of one (aka ~true stories~) is REALLY interesting because it’s one of the few japanese porn productions where characters actually have pubes. And it’s not like “oh there’s some dirt on the cel” there are actual honest to god animated crotch bushes. It’s surreal enough to warrent a recommendation.

    Also please actually give Mazinkaiser a shot (aka don’t just think ‘super robots and go nagai? SHIT) It’s only 7 episodes so you really don’t loose anything from it, and you also get to see Baron Ashura take Boss’s balls to the face. It really doesn’t get better than that. If nothing else, at least watch the opening, which is like 11/10 A++ tier music because it’s sung by Ichiro ‘Aniki’ Mizuki and Jam Project.

    You can skip the Mazinkaiser movie (aka “Death! The Great General of Darkness!”) because unless you wanna see Boss Borot actually be useful, the movie is fucking awful. So just watch Mazinkaiser do it faggot

    • Pusswookie
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:49 am | Permalink

      Japanese porn with PUBES? My God.
      What is this called again? ~true stories~?

    • Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:17 am | Permalink

      Porn and exploitation is MY field. I doubt Scamp would like that stuff, although I will be happy to take those recommendations myself, as I haven’t seen Mazinkaiser 2003 or the Kikaider OVAs. Have seen the One remake though. I like it better than most hentai (and it’s miles better than the 2000 OVA series), but it’s still a goddamn hentai, and I don’t think recommending it based on the fact that it has pubes (and blind girl sex) is very hearty.

      @Marow Really? You haven’t seen anything from 2003? Also, while I can’t speak for the manga, the Chrno Crusade anime was bad. Really, really bad.

      • Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink


        How come the Chrono Crusade anime was bad? Is it the story itself or the production?

      • Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t make it far into the anime. I just remember the transition between comedy and drama being really bad and the characters got on my nerves. I did see the ending though and it was one of the most bullcrap things to ever occur.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Look, I saw Mazinkaizer SKL and hated every second of it. I hate Go Nagai and everything he touches, so if you really want to see me rant against why everything he’s even remotely involved in is utter shit on a stick, then I’ll by all means go ahead and bash it again.

      I believe ‘One’ appears on Shinmaru’s Terribad post. I highly recommend you go read his take on it. No seriously, go read it

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Dude, Mazinkaiser SKL and then ORIGINAL Mazinkaiser are two totally and completely different works. There’s absolutely nothing in SKL that dates back to Nagai except for a few Sayaka cameos.

        This is Mazinkaiser: http://myanimelist.net/anime/1064/Mazinkaiser

        It’s a story about Kabuto Kouji saving the world from the nefarious DOKTAH HERRU and his henchman ASHURA DANSHAKU while also being really really really cute.

        This is Mazinkaiser SKL: http://myanimelist.net/anime/8666/Mazinkaiser_SKL

        This is about literally nothing but beautifully animated robots punching other beautifully animated robots piloted by nobuyuki hiyama in the face. SKL is fanservice, and you know what I acknowledge that Mazinkaiser 2003 is too, but it’s fun, has a Jam Project OP, and Sayaka Yumi’s nipples, so it’s a thousand times BETTER than that no-tits garbage SKL.

        Next time you run your mouth off about Uncle Go and his particular brand of garbage, at least know what the hell you’re talking about. If you hate Go Nagai, then it’s your own fuckin fault for taking his OBVIOUSLY joke stuff (Mazinger Z, Cutie Honey, Hanappe fuckin Bazooka) so seriously that it ruins all the fun. No one read this shit for the plot. The only Nagai thing you should read for the plot is fucking Devilman anyway.

        tl;dr you’re no fun

      • Scamp
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        They are the same type of show with the same bloody name. Also “don’t take it seriously” is the worst excuse ever. Of course they’re not deepy serious anime. They still happen to be shit.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Bro, you ain’t hearin me, SKL and Mazinkaiser are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SHOWS. But whatever, enjoy whatever you watch this season!

  19. Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard me recommend everything I’m gonna list, but…

    Big O (I can’t remember if you’ve ever mentioned watching this)
    Godannar (it’s definitely a mixed bag, though, as you mentioned above)
    Requiem from the Darkness (I’m leaning toward doing this as a Retro Review for Bakacast next season)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Bitches need to be checking my Top 30 and see how much I already like Big O.

      Although the second season is definitely the weaker of the two

  20. Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    New Fist of the North Star!

    Actually don’t do that. It’s not that great. Takehito Koyasu is the worst Kenshiro. And despite what the title and every piece of English marketing material would suggest, it’s actually a sequel and not a remake/alternate-retelling.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I should probably watch the first Fist of the North Star before watching the sequel

  21. Posted June 16, 2013 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Judging from Wikipedia, there isn’t anything I’ve seen from 2003.

    But I have read the original manga of Chrono Crusade and I love it, it’s easily one of my favorites. I haven’t seen the anime, however, so I cannot utter anything about it. I’ve heard it’s fine, though. Shame the anime got a different ending, because the one in the manga was brilliant.

    I have no idea if you would like the series, though. I’d bet on a dislike.

    • gedata
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      you need some 2003 anime in your life bro, great year.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Nothing? No Kino’s Journey, Fumoffu, Tokyo Godfathers, Cromartie, even the original FMA? Why has nobody taken your anime blogger license away from you yet?

      • Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Not any of those. But I really should watch all the titles you mentioned. Especially Kino’s Journey.

        I forgot about FMA, which I’ve seen. But that’s it. Unless you count scattered episodes of Bobobo which is kinda fun.

  22. Redcrimson
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Gunslinger Girl and Kino’s Journey are both in my top 25(16 and 19 respectively). They are both great shows very much worth the watch.

    Scrapped Princess, Shadow Star Narutaru, Planetes, Wolf’s Rain and Texhnolyze are all solid as well.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I own Kino’s Journey and it’s the first I plan on re-watching. Really looking forward to doing that

  23. gedata
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    try Gungrave and start from episode 2. Really, forget everything you saw in episode 1, it did that BS in medias res thing really badly by skipping to the only weakest part of the series and making it worse. So yeah, it’s totally dumb and skippable like the 1st episode of Shin Mazinger Z (which I won’t bother trying to convince you is good).

    Wolf’s Rain, Kino’s Journey, and Planetes are also very remarkable.

    Shadow Star is also quite good, but I would rather recommend it for your Manga Driver column since it stops abruptly in the middle of a 12 volume story.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry, already completely forgotten everything that happened in the first episode of Gungrave :D

  24. Pusswookie
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I love when you do these, because everyone’s opinions generally coalesce into a few gems that I can add to my Plan to Watch list; and sometimes there are a few obscure ones that merit a look as well.
    Really, these posts are incredibly convenient.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      That’s why I like getting people to just leave any old recs. Everyone should watch Cromartie and Kino’s Journey, but it helps to have an entire comments section mentioning it

  25. Magus
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Seconding “Gungrave but for the love of God skip the first episode.” Especially since I see you already dropped Gungrave once after episode 1!

    Watch Wolf’s Rain yeah. You’ve already seen everything else I would recommend. I’d say Texhnolyze is worth a try (though I wasn’t a fan) but you already dropped it for being pretentious.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Lordy me did Texhnolyze irritate me. People say it gets better I swear around episode 8, but I don’t have the patience to reach that far

  26. Sarif Fice
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    Kino’s Journey
    Ashita no Nadja
    Scrapped Princess

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      But Ashita no Nadja looks scary with all its pink :(

  27. Gunslinger
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    1) Gungrave – Like the others have mentioned skip the 1st episode. The best part of gungrave is the tragic past, not the post apocalyptic future. Kinda like berserk if you think about it.
    2) Detective School Q – The animation and characters are kinda silly and it starts pretty weak but it has some of the most twisted mysteries I’ve seen. The Hyotan village episodes are the pick of the series really. (Its 45 episodes though)
    3)Wolf’s Rain :- Typical bones nonsense ending, but it was one of the first anime I’d seen. Pretty fun
    4)Texhnolyze – Its slow and really hard to get into. I dropped it several times before I actually finished it. It takes like 10 episodes to build up and is awesome after that. Seeing as how you could survive Infinite ryvius I think you can do this too.
    5) Shadow Star Narutaru :- This is a cutesy looking show with some disturbing shit.
    6) Ai Yori Aoshi :- If boring romances are your thing.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Interesting story: When I was 13, a friend of mine bought some manga with naked ladies in them. I read them too. There were 3 different titles there. Ai Yori Aoshi and A.I Love You were two of them and I thought both of them were pretty crap.

      The third one, on the other hand, I really liked. A few years later I saw an anime of that same manga and started my long and arduous path down into anime fandom. That manga was Love Hina.

  28. Mech
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Submarine Super 99
    Ninja Scroll
    SD Gundam Force
    Triangle Heart

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Forgot Golden Laws and Doggy Poo

  29. Sarif Fice
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I want to warn you not to watch Wolf’s Rain. Saying it has a weak ending is an understatement. It also has the WORST death speeches ever… worse and more drawn out death speeches than Fushigi Yuugi.

    Reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvk5smMC5ik

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      I’ve heard…mixed things about the Wolf’s Rain ending. We’ll see, it’s definitely something I need to watch

    • gw_kimmy
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      i don’t understand why so many people ragequit the wolfs rain ending. it felt slightly cop-out-y, but what else were you supposed to do with a depressing story about the journey to the “ends” of the “earth”?

      lol @ fushigi yuugi. at least gay men aren’t dying in the name of a woman they SUDDENLY switched teams for and love.

  30. Unified Force
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Gungrave really deserves a second chance.

    I watched it half a decade ago when I first started getting into anime and personally still think of it as one of the most emotionally powerful series I’ve watched. Also one of the only things from anime ever that has had me on the verge of tears.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Yup, Gungrave is a definite watch alongside Wolf’s Rain. Saw the first ep years ago and thought it was crap, but apparently everyone thinks that

  31. mix
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Fantastic Children
    Anne of Green Gables
    Dog of Flanders
    (actually I recommend all of Nippon’s World Masterpiece Theater animation)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Think you’ve mixed this up with 2004

  32. Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    From 2003 the obvious ones for me are:
    Last Exile
    Wolfs Rain
    Kino no Tabi
    Gunslinger Girl
    Tokyo Godfathers
    Fullmetal Alchemist

    Also liked Chrono Crusade, Mermaid Forest and Hitsuji no Uta. Narutaru also sticks out only because I personally hated it so much – but people have pretty mixed opinions on that show overall.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I think I’ll pass on Narutaru. Normally something like that is worth trying because it will at least draw a reaction from me, buut too many people I know really don’t like it.

      • Posted June 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Good choice. Honestly it has to be one of the worst shows I’ve managed to finish. It is from the creator of Bokurano (which I loved) and I hear the manga is better, but the anime was fecking terrible and really soured me on the whole series.

      • Gedata
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

        Narutaru is pretty decent really, if you can watch Alien Nine, you can probably get through this one.

  33. fathomlessblue
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I’ll just throw a few titles I’ve don’t think you’ve watched, rather than the standard big shows. Honestly, other than Wolf Rain, there’s little I see you watching all the way through. I’ve heard good things about Twin-Spica, but have only watched one episode so far; Similar sentiments with both Technolyze & Requiem from the Darkness. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen Big-O, Planetes, Last Exile, Kino’s Journey, etc.

    1)Stellvia. Incredibly moe & simplistic, despite being technically a sci-fi show. It’s essentially K-on in space. I thought it was fine (although soooo sloooowly paced), but I can’t imagine you would get anything from it.

    2)Gungrave. Watched it as an early fan, & really enjoyed it, although I was aware there were many glaring problems. As I didn’t really critique or analyse shows back then, I’ll guess it’s pretty awful by today’s standards. After a weird first episode, it becomes a standard goodfellas/mafia style show, although the main character has zero personality, & his lover is equally as bad. His relationship with his best friend drives the show, and although being cliché gangster stuff, with iffy pacing (not to mention the ott corny ‘American’ names) I enjoyed it, at least until two-thirds into the show, when the series makes a time skip & becomes some sci-fi action nonsense. The ending was pretty nice & heartfelt, although again, I was young when I watched it.

    3)Gilgamesh: Check it out for the incredibly overbearing atmosphere, unique plot, & deliberately ugly looking character designs (they all look like crack addicts!), then drop it once you release it has minimal characterisation, & the story & budget of a 13 episode show, stretched out to 26. Seriously the pacing & reuse of scenes could make Noir blush! Also, there are heavy incest undertones, although shockingly, it isn’t erotised. Very creepy & nihilistic.

    4)Scrapped Princess: Full Metal Panic-meets-Escalflowne, although not as good as either. A little too bubbly & slapstick at times, although the relationship between the siblings feels genuine and charming.

    In short, outside of the big names, there’s little I know of that’s worth checking out, beyond a few episodes. Many are worth a glance though.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Correction: I meant to say Scrapped Princess was Full Metal Alchemist-meets-Escaflowne.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      I did do a review of Scrapped Princess back in the day. Didn’t think too much of it, but over time I’ve weirdly developed a bit of a soft spot for it. Possibly because of the combination of absolutely loving the OP and ED and having a pretty big crush on the main character

      • Sarif Fice
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

        Scrapped princess is one of those animes that I end up forgetting so much about it surprises me when I re-watch it. I don’t know any other anime that has really done that to me.

        Also I would most closely compare it to Gurren Lagaan in story and Tower of Duraga in tone.

  34. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    From what I can see on the list, Planetes was the most impressive to me. Hard sci-fi story set in the near future with perfect science, political reflections, and some of the most wonderfully written and realistic characters in anime ever? Yes please.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Seen it. I really like the first half of the show, but the second half’s overbearing drama got on my nerves, particularly since the characters seemed to spend the entire second half sulking. Still think it’s good, but much prefer the first half

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Ah, I can see where you come from. I did like the second half as well – mostly because its core conflict, that is the border between following your legitimate aspirations and being obsessed by them to the point of ignoring people around you, resonates well with me. I kinda hated the ending though. It felt like it really sucked for Ai, while Hachi really didn’t have to make any sacrifices at all.

      • gedata
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        I liked the ending. They both seemed content, and the wrap-up for individual characters was good.

  35. Kiraly
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    That seemed like a really good year. It’s difficult to pick just a couple of series – trying out an episode from each that catches your eye seems like the best bet. A lot of the 2003 stuff are cult classics, and cult classics can end up sucking really hard 10 years down the line.

    That said, things you might like and I didn’t notice recommended while scrolling down quickly:
    1) Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito
    This is a really weird and colourful series, with many similarities to Touka Gettan (have you seen that yet? It’s a fabulous ‘bishonen and bishoujo fondling each other’ series with a confusing plot that aired in 2007 with the episodes in reverse order) – except that YTBTHNT is yuri, so just girls doing the fondling. I enjoyed it even though I can’t stomach the usual seasonal seinen romance. There’s also adventure Stuff Happening to offset it.

    2) Uninhabited Planet Survive (50+ episodes)
    Did you like Digimon as a kid? This is about a group of kids stranded on an island and fending for themselves. It’s not great, but I honestly enjoyed watching it.

    3) Shadow Star Narutaru
    (And read the manga afterwards) This is Digimon a million shades darker. The manga is by the author of Bokurano and caused huge amounts of controversy.

    3) Peacemaker Kurogane
    This is my favourite Bakumatsu series. It starts out like a shonen would, but turns bloody and people-being-fondly-with-each-other rather quickly.

    Stuff I haven’t seen that seem interesting:
    1) L/R: Licensed by Royalty
    According to Wikipedia: “The show is set in an alternate world where the United Kingdom and Ireland do not exist.”

    2) Requiem from the Darkness
    By the author of Mouryou no Hako. Why haven’t I watched this yet?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I have heard of that magical hat series and how it’s the most bizarre random yuri series ever made, which I’m down for at least trying.

      Also wut, Ireland not existing? What a horrible idea!

      • Sarif Fice
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:13 am | Permalink

        more of a bizarre random yuri series then Simoun?

      • Scamp
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Yes. Simoun’s not particularly random, apart from the kissing to pilot flying machines thing

  36. Pusswookie
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I really want to watch Cromartie but I can’t find a proper subber for it that actually has good comedic timing and such.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      It has official subs you know. And a very good English dub too. Hardly an excuse

      • Pusswookie
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Hey, don’t you try and call me out. It’s not on Crunchyroll, there isn’t a good subbed version on BakaBT, and how am I supposed to know that it had a good dub? Older shows typically don’t.
        Besides, it’s not exactly a show that I’m going to put as much dub vs sub research into as something like, say, Brotherhood.
        NOW I don’t have an excuse. To be fair though, sometimes Japanese humor and I don’t mesh well, so I might’ve just not found it that funny, and blamed it on the subs that I was watching.

  37. Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I’d say Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto (Someday’s Dreamers). Sure, it’s a slice of life with a bit of romance here and there, but really, really well done.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I saw the 2008 sequel(?) of that. It was all right, but soooooo far from being my kind of show. It was real s’life in the truest sense, apart from the whole magic thing. Weird show, not my kind of thing, but interesting

      • Lenaen
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:32 am | Permalink

        For what it’s worth, I remember liking the first season and not really caring at all for the second season/sequel and dropping it a few episodes in. It was pretty much what happened with Moyashimon.

  38. lesterf1020
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I would like to further recommend…

    1. Requiem From The Darkness. It is some interesting dark story telling.

    2. Gilgamesh. Misanthropic nihilism at its best but I truly enjoyed the battle of wills between the 2 main ladies while it lasted. I could have done without that last episode though but most people love it for that last episode so YMMV.

    3. Parasite Dolls OVA. A really interesting disaster. With a better writer and more episodes this could have been a gem. Worth a watch and it is only 3 episodes long.

    4. For a palate cleanser there is the goofy fun of Dokkoida!? But I don’t think these kinds of shows are your cup of tea.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Oh right, I’ve been wondering what Parasite Dolls was. Might still check it out because the shorter OVA and movie front is pretty barren in 2003

  39. lmm
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I don’t remember much good from that year.

    BPS acquired a kind of cult following at an anime society I was part of but it’s goofy comedy (and also rather bad, except in that it’s entertaining), not sure there’ll be a lot to learn from or say about it.

    Divergence Eve was the show that finally convinced me that presentation is important as well as content; it’s a brilliant, fascinating sci-fi story but told with CG that looks like it was from the ’80s, limited animation that extends to multiple-second still frames, and character designs who are about 40% boob.

    Twin Spica I liked the manga of. I’d be interested to hear your opinion on Stratos 4 as it seems like the kind of overlooked thing I’m often into.

    Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is quite good (for its time), but even ignoring the length issue it’s a straight-up magical girl show so again I’m not sure how much there would be to say about it.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      I only know of Divergence Eve because I used its OP as one of my ‘impossible to get’ ones in my anime OP quiz. Less than 1% of the people doing the quiz got it

      • lmm
        Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        As an anime it probably deserves to be forgotten, but what could have been with that story… it’s as confusing as Evangelion, right up until the point where everything crystallizes and you see the single coherent story that everything was forming, even the first episode.

        (admittedly there are people who claim to have experienced the same thing regarding Evangelion, but I don’t believe them)

  40. lesterf1020
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh I just remembered one. If you need something to fill up your short OVA section you could try Gatekeepers21. It is technically a sequel to Gatekeepers but in practice it is a dark reimagining of the series that can stand on its own. My understanding is that people who love Gatekeepers hate Gatekeepers21 and vice versa. All in a nice compact 6 episodes.

  41. Mr. Anon
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Kimi ga Nozomu Eien yet. Not that I like it, but it’s pretty popular.

    • Yaji
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is maybe my favorite anime of all time. The only romance drama I have ever seen that doesn’t have a dull moment.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I saw the first episode years ago but remember nothing about it. Maybe people realise that, from what I’ve heard, it’s a prototype for stuff like Ano Hana and therefore I would most likely despise it

  42. Posted June 17, 2013 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Gunparade March. Episode 7 (I think? the one where he carries her through the snow) is one of my favorite episodes of anime ever.

    I thought Battle Programmer Shirase was pretty funny. It’s not that long either.

    The Narutaru anime isn’t that good, I’m sorry to say. :( But watch the OP at the very least, it’s one of the greatest OPs ever made.

    • gedata
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      Regarding the Narutaru opening, you have to actually watch the series to understand what makes it so great.
      It kinda has the Madoka Magica appeal, except even more ironic

    • Scamp
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      That’s a few people to recommend Shirase and Gunparade. I’ll put them both on a backburner in case everything else turns up shit

  43. Mech
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    On a more serious note.

    Mei and the Kitten Bus
    Trava Fist Planet
    Tokyo Godfathers
    Superflat Monogram
    Air Master
    Stellvia of the Universe
    Kaleido Star
    Rumiko Takahashi Anthology
    Mazinkaiser vs Great Darkness General
    R.O.D TV
    Cromartie High School
    Galaxy Railways
    The Animatrix

  44. Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    In terms of things you haven’t already seen, I’d recommend trying to hunt down Mr. Stain on Junk Alley, by the guy who made Popee the Performer. It’s hard to find outside of Funi’s now-out-of-print DVD set, but I enjoyed it a lot – it lacks the immediate insanity of Popee but makes up for it with some amount of subtlety. I’ve found a playlist of the episodes on youtube that Funimation has blocked here for copyright reasons, but might be available in your region.

    Otherwise, just the typical suggestion of Wolf’s Rain, and maybe another shot at Texhnolyze, much as I hate recommending it to people because it’s so hard to get into.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      By the creator of Popee? I think I just creamed my pants already

    • gedata
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Stain on Junk Alley came out in 2003? Aw shieeeeeeeet, seconded.

    • meh
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      I want to 2nd Mr. Stain. I went through the whole thread to see if someone had mentioned it as it is a real gem. After seeing a few random episodes, I nabbed the DVD from amazon for $4.25 back in 2008. Looks like it has ballooned up to $50+ now. On the plus side, it appears to all be on HULU.

      Link here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/41631

  45. Billish
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink


    If you haven’t seen it. I think it’s great – I’m not sure what you’d think. Tell me!

    • Billish
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Ohp, sorry, read your above comment – Glad you liked it, but I disagree with your assessment on the second half (opinions god damnit).

  46. Billish
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Oh and, though I’m pretty sure I’ve read a post of yours stating your dislike of Daft Punk’s music, I will still recommend Interstella 5555 because I’m a fan. Then again it isn’t really a t.v. series so much as it is an elongated music video, but even so I think it’s pretty good cheese. And, once again, the music is something else.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Me? Dislike Daft Punk? What kind of philistine do you take me for!?!

  47. Mike
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting looking back on 03, because while there was some great material that’s been mentioned already (planetes, cromartie, fma, last exhile, fumoffu, kino’s etc), so much of what I remember being popular on torrents, FTPs, college anime clubs and cons are rightly ignored as shit a decade later. I watched but didn’t really dig or never finished so much that year that I would never recommend. Not wanting to get into that crap, i think tsukihime deserves a look 10 years later as does texhnolyze.

  48. Lenaen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    So, just because no one’s mentioned it, what about Gad Guard? I thought the world building was pretty great, and the mech designs were unique. I think it’s one of those shows, though, that would have benefited from being only a single cour instead of the full 26 episodes that started going out of favor around that time.

  49. mwp
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Well, from that list,
    Air Master was a pretty brainless show with terrible character designs, but it held up somehow, and it was actually entertaining enough for me to watch all 27 episodes;
    Wolf’s Rain is the one standout production I’d recommend for anybody and everybody, but in retrospect that show might have put style (or how should I put it) over substance just a little too much;
    Shadow Star Narutaru might also be of some interest, though I’d rather you just go read the manga instead, since the anime finishes up at volume 7 (of 12), same as where the official western release left off. They never adapted the real ~fun~ parts.

    Huh, I actually haven’t seen a whole lot of these shows. Guess I’m not a good person to ask.

  50. MMKain
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Gungrave is the definition of, “Surprisingly good.” Despite supposdly being a videogame adaptation, it actually just does its own thing for most of its run and succeeds brilliantly.

  51. mikejacobs
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Try out Uninhabited Planet Survive, it would be interesting to see your review on it.

  52. Kioku from Laptop
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    …the crap F-Zero got an anime?
    Wolfs Rain and Read or Die.
    The other handful that I’ve seen from 2003 I don’t see myself watching a second time.

  53. Posted July 28, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

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